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Model Engineering Glossary


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c (centi)

The prefix c or centi indicates the unit should be multiplied by 10-2.

See also: Decimal Prefixes.


Cadmium Sulphate

Chemical formula: CdSO4

See also: Chemical Table.


Calcium

A silvery white metal which is obtained by the electrolysis of molten calcium chloride. One of the most abundant metal elements on Earth, but it never occurs as the pure element. more......


Calipers

A measuring instrument used to measure the distance between two points or the inside or outside dimensions of an object.

See also: Measuring Instrument - reviews, Vernier Caliper.


Cam

A device for converting regular rotary motion to irregular rotary or reciprocating motion. Sometimes the effect of off-center lathe operations or the cam in an engine used to operate valves.


Camelia Metal

70.23 % Copper 14.75 % Lead 4.25 % Tin 10.2 % Zinc 0.55 % Iron


Capacitors

The basic laws relating to capacitors.

Carbolic acid

Chemical name: phenol

Chemical formula: C6H5OH

See also: Chemical Table.


Carbide

Usually formed by fusing lime and hard coal in a furnace.

Chemical name: Calcium carbide

Chemical formula: CaC2

See also: Calcium, Chemical Table.


Carbide Tools

Lathe cutting tools to which carbide tip inserts have been brazed or screwed, to provide cutting action on harder materials than the high speed cutters are capable of.


Carbon dioxide

A colourless gas exhaled by animals and absorbed by plants. It is formed by the complete combustion of carbon.

Chemical formula: CO2

See also: Chemical Table.


Carbonizing

The process of adding carbon to the outer surface of steel to improve its quality by heat treating it in contact with a carbonaceous material.

See also: Case Hardening.


Carbon Steel

A broad term applied to tool steel other than high-speed or alloy steel.

See also: Colour Temperatures, Currie Point, Oil Hardening Steel, Steel.

Carborundum

Used extensively as a grinding compound and in abrasive wheels.

Chemical name: Silicon carbide

Chemical formula: SiC

See also: Chemical Table.


Carburettor

Device that mixes air and fuel in the intake system of an internal combustion engine. These are not so easy to make at a small scale.


Carriage

A principal part of a lathe that carries the cutting tool and consists of the saddle, compound rest. and apron.

See also: Lathes.


Cascamite

Trade name for a urea-formaldehyde glue. This is a waterproof resin based glue that comes as a white powder and is mixed two parts water to one part powder in a glass container. Note that it must be stirred thoroughly until it has a consistency of cream.

See also: Glue.


Case Hardening

A method for hardening low carbon content steels. more......

See also: Oil Hardening Steel.


Castigated Nut

A nut with grooves cut entirely across the top face used with a split pin to lock the nut and stop it from undoing. Often used in safety critical applications.


Cast Iron

Low melting point, good fluidity, castability, excellent machinability and wear resistance.more......

Used extensively in model engineering for flywheels, cylinders, train wheels, along with many other uses.



Caustic potash

Chemical name: Potassium hydroxide

Chemical formula: KOH

See also: Chemical Table.


Cedar

A durable wood used in ancient buildings. Easy to work and strongly scented.

See also: Timber.

Centres

The centre of rotation of an object.

or

A centre as used in a headstock or tailstock.


Centre Height

This shows the result when the lathe tool is at the correct height.

I use a mixture of brass, steel and aluminium shims. Thin brass shims are great to get the height exactly correct.

With a larger lathe and so larger tool sections it is still useful now and again to use small tools. The Warco WM240B takes 12mm tool steel and this only needs a slight height increase to reach centre. Now and again I still want to use 6mm tools and for these occasions I have a piece of 6mm thick mild steel shim to bulk up the tool height. See: Lathe Tools



Centrifugal Starting Switch

A mechanism that disconnects the starting circuit of a motor when the rotor reaches approximately 75% of operating speed.

Ceralumin

2.5 % Copper 1.5 % Nickel 92.8 % Aluminium 1.2 % Silicon 0.8 % Molybdenum 1.2 % Iron


Chalk

Chemical name: Calcium carbonate

Chemical formula: CaCO3

See also: Calcium, Chemical Table.

Change Gears

Gears that link the main spindle of the lathe to the saddle longitudinal drive screw thus allowing threads to be cut. more...


Chatter

Tool chatter on the workpiece often results in a poor finish. To reduce this problem it is necessary to reduce movement of the machine by locking traverses in unused directions and by reducing tool overhangs.

See also: Lathe Tools

Chenery, Les

Famous for his designs for model internal combustion engines.


Chestnut

Very durable and much like oak. Comparitavely easy to work and does not shrink much when drying.

See also: Timber.

Chinese Silver

70.3 % Copper 13.93 % Nickel 13.33 % Cobalt 2.42 % Silver


Chinese white

Chemical name: Zinc oxide

Chemical formula: ZnO

See also: Chemical Table.


Chromel

80 % Nickel 20 % Chromium


Chucks

There are many different types of chuck, from those used in hand drills and collet chucks through to lathe chucks. more...



Cinnabar

The ore of mercury. Occuring as red crystals.

Chemical name: Mercuric sulphide

Chemical formula: HgS

See also: Chemical Table.

Circle

circle

See also: Conversion of Units, Sphere.

Clearance Volume

This is the cylinder and connecting pipe volume at the beginning of a piston stroke just before the steam valve is opened. It is important to minimise this volume as this reduces the steam pressure that acts on the piston. See: Steam Engine Performance.

CO2 Engines

An engine that uses compressed Carbon Dioxide (CO2) as the fuel, basically the same as a compressed air engine or even a steam engine.

The image shows a complete set of parts: engine, fuel tank connected by fine copper pipe to the top of the engine and the refuelling device that a sparklet fits into.


Coinage Bronze

95 % Copper 4 % Tin 1 % Zinc

Coinage Silver

7.2 % Copper 0.2 % Lead 92.59 % Silver


Colour Temperatures

The colour of a piece of steel may be used as a guide to it's temperature. These are particulalrly useful when hardening or tempering steel. more......

Collets

Used to hold material/tools in the headstock. more...

Combustion Chamber

The volume in an engine where the combustion of fuel takes place.

Jet Engine Combustion Chamber - a continuous combustion process.



Common Solder

50 % Lead 50 % Tin


Compound Wound Motor

  • Operation is similar to shunt motor
  • Powerful starting torque from main circuit winding

See also: Electric Motors.

Conduction

This is the process by which heat flows from the hotter region of a substance to the colder region without there being any net flow of the material itself.

See also: Heat.

Conrod

Transfers forces and reciprocating motion between piston and crankshaft.

Small end is connected to the piston with the Gudgeon Pin.

Large end is connected to the crankshaft.


See also: Gudgeon Pin, Pistons.


Constantan

60 % Copper 40 % Nickel


Convection

The heat is transfered from the solid or liquid by the surrounding gas. If the flow of gas away from the object starts by itself it is called natural convection. However, if the gas is forced past the object it is called forced convection. Note: convection may also occur within a fluid carrying heat away from a solid.

See also: Heat.


Conversion of Units

Conversion factors from Imperial to Metric to Imperial for length, area, volume, mass.

Copper

Noted for being ductile and having good electrical and thermal conductivity. It forms the basis of a number of alloys e.g. brass and bronze more......


Copper Sulphate

Trade name: Blue vitriol

Chemical formula: CuSO45H2O

See also: Chemical Table.


Corian

A trademark of Du Pont. This is a resin material that is available in many colours and can be machined. more......


Corronium

80 % Copper 5 % Tin 15 % Zinc

Crankshaft

Converts linear reciprocating motion into rotational motion.


Currie Point

This is the temperature at which steel/iron loses its magnetic properties. For pure iron this is about 770C.


Cutting Speeds

Tables of cutting speeds are useful when starting out in engineering or tackling a new material. A few tables are given in the following links for some typical materials.

See also: Drill Bits.

Cyanoacrylate

Perhaps more commonly known as "Super Glue" or "Instant Glue".

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z